It seems to me everyone is in pursuit of happiness to the detriment of everyone else. "As long as I'm happy then that's OK" seems to be the unspoken motto imprinted on some peoples' minds.
But what is happiness? And how long does it last? Once you have happiness does it stay with you for ever? Or does it run out like the last drop of coffee in your cup?
Remembering my managerial days at work, I recall that happiness is a transient state of being. If an employee is, (or believes), he is not well paid he would be unhappy. He may demand more money; or even strike with other employees and bring the work to a stand-still.
If he is then given more money commensurate with what he feels he is entitled he is no longer unhappy. But that does not necessarily, or always, mean that he is happy. He may remain in this state of being no longer unhappy until such a time when he desires more remuneration; at which point he would revert to being unhappy and start the process all over again.
So it could be said that happiness is a state of not being unhappy, and it comes and goes for varying periods of time depending on the circumstances and the individual involved.
In other words, happiness is different things to different people.
For me, happiness is waking up in the morning and finding there is no one else sleeping in the park bench beside me. I often lose my way home when I've been out with friends to the pub late at night. So we walk to each other's homes and drop each one to his home in turn. I'm often the last one to get home, and I lose my way, and end up in the park.
Happiness to a Catholic like me is a resisted temptation. But then, also when yielded to, it gives greater happiness.
Happiness to me is getting home and finding a piece of cheese in the mousetrap. This is double happiness because it means we have no mice. And also I can have some cheese and biscuits for supper.
The other day I experienced a lack of happiness when I caught my tongue in the mousetrap as I was licking the remainder of some Brie or Camembert. We use expensive cheese in our traps to attract a higher class of mice. None of those common riff-raff mice around here.
Happiness to some is being recognised, loved and appreciated. The other day a man in the street recognised me. This did not make me happy because I did not recognise him. He said, "Don't you remember me?"
I looked at his face for a while, then looked at the pretty lady he was with for a longer while, but still did not recognise her. There was something vaguely familiar about her curves, but I could not put my finger on it in case he hit me.
He interrupted my admiration and said, "Do you still not recognise me?"
I replied, "I make a point of never forgetting a name or a face. But in your case I'll make an exception. Who are you?"
He said, "I'm the plumber who fixed the leek in your house three years ago! Don't you recognise my face?"
I replied, "When you look at the mirror every morning, you see your face and you recognise it. But when I look at the mirror every morning, I don't see your face. How do you expect me to recognise you? I remember the bill you sent me though!"
I doubt he was happy after that. And neither was I, remembering how much I paid him to fix the leek.
People say money can't buy happiness; but I guess it can rent it for a while. Does love bring one happiness? I tell you, happiness is when you marry a beautiful woman and then discover she has money too.
Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family, that lives in another town far away.
Happiness is getting home and not finding a broomstick in the lounge; and mother-in-law is not here.
Happiness is the interval between disappointments.
Happiness is when your dentist says it won't hurt, then he cuts his hand on the drill.
I never really knew what happiness is until I got married; by then it was too late! (I hope she's not reading this).
I'd better stop here ... but why don't you join me in a song about happiness.